Thursday, 7 March 2013

Lemon Semolina cake and Parsnip Rostis

Week Seven and my daughter is home at the weekend so I have made her a lovely cake, but my son doesn't like Lemon Semolina cake so I made him a coffee cake as well. Total shopping bill £58

Weeks Menu
Stir fry beef noodles and spring rolls
Leek and chicken pie
Linguine with bacon, mushroom and pesto
Bean gorganzola stuffed red peppers with couscous
Chilli con Carne with rice
Meatballs in tomato tortilla and salad
Cous cous salad
Roast Chicken        

Vegetable spring rolls makes 20
Half pack spring roll sheets                                £1
2 carrots
4 spring onions
2 handfuls beansprouts
2 cabbage leaves 2 slices ginger 1 clove garlic  50p
Either plum sauce soy sauce mirrin oyster sauce  10p
I had a glut of plums two years ago and made plum sauce
Cornflour                                             Total £1.60

Finely shred veg don't grate as it makes them to wet. Stir fry till soft
Add 1 tbsp of sauce less if using soy
Tip wok sideways to let juices drain allow to cool
Keep spring roll squares in a damp cloth if they dry up they will crack
Put in a desertspoon of filling
Roll up folding in the sides seal with cornflour paste
Keep covered as you make them, and store in a single layer or with
clingfilm between.
I froze mine to use later.
Deep fry in a wok until golden retain oil for later use

Leek and chicken pie for 2/3
3 chicken thighs £1.50
1 leek 30p
1 onion 5p
1/4pt milk 25p
2 bayleaves
1 tbsp Flour 5p
1/2 packet puff pastry 50p
Butter 10p
Oil 5p                                               Total £2.80  

Poach chicken thighs in the milk with bayleaves until meat is cooked and soft enough to removes from bones. Keep the milk
Meanwhile soften leeks and onions in butter
Remove meat and chop up you can use the skin as well if you want to
Add flour to the leeks and stir to make a roux add the milk slowly to make a
thick sauce, add the chicken
Roll the pastry into two equal sized rectangles
Put on on a baking tray no need to grease as pastry shouldnt stick
Layer on the chicken leek mix
Lay other pastry rectangle on top and seal the edges
Put two holes and make slash marks not all the way through
You can brush the top with egg the rest to use in a cake
Bake in a medium oven till crispy and golden

Lemon semolina rosemary cake                                                                                                                                            
Not only delicious but dairy free if needed
1 cup semolina (you can use cornmeal)  2p
1 cup ground almonds 50p
1 tsp baking powder
3 eggs 36p
3/4 cup olive oil
1 cup caster /soft brown sugar 25p
Desert spoon icing sugar 5p
2 lemons and zest 20p
Rosemary finely chopped free          Total £1.78
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl
Blend very well oil, juice and zest of lemons, sugar and eggs
Mix together add some rosemary to your taste
Pour the mixture into greased cake tin not loose bottomed
as the mixture is runny
Bake in a medium oven until brown and firm about 35 mins
Leave to cool and cover with icing sugar
Could substitute rosemary for poppyseeds thyme or lavender

Parsnip rosti with cream cheese for 2/3
2 red onions 20p
250g parsnips 50p
1 med potato 20p
1 egg 18p
2tbsp flour  5p
Knob of butter 20p
Olive oil 20p
Homemade cream cheese 50p
Capers 10p                                    Total £2.63 

Slice onion heat some of the butter and oil and fry them till soft and maybe a bit crispy
Meanwhile combine grated parsnip, potato with liquid squeezes out with the beaten egg and flour. Season and form into flat cakes. Fry in oil and butter till golden
Serve with a dollop of cream cheese on each one then onions and capers

Preserved lemons
4 lemons 50p
Salt                                          Total 55p

Cut the lemons in quarters but not right through
Put in a pan of very salted water and simmer for 20 mins
When cool put in a jar and wait a couple of weeks if you can

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Seven suppers and two lunches cakes and sushi

This week I got my shopping at Asda and  Wing Yip. I spent £58 but lots of ingredients carry over. It was half term this week so my son had lunch at home and as usual my husband and I had packed lunches. 
As well as seven suppers and weekend lunches I have made carrot cake. flapjack.lemon semolina and rosemary cake. coffee cupcakes and preserved lemons. Here are  some of my recipes with my costs

Pork chorizo spinach paella
250g paella rice 45p
Leftover pork
2 small chorizo  £1.25p
Handful spinach 25p
1ltr homemade stock
Green and red peppers 40p
Large onion 10p
Smoked paprika salt pepper
Wild garlic
Olive oil 10p                                                               Serves 4 Total £2.55
Saute chopped chorizo for 15 mins in olive oil. Add green and red pepper garlic and onion for a further 5 mins. Stir in rice and coat with lovely flavoured oil. Season with salt pepper and parika. Add stock and bring to boil now turn down and cook for approx 20 mins. Check stock levels during this time. When rice is cooked the paella should be moist not sloppy. Add spinach and cooked pork at this stage. Check seasonings and serve with
lemon wedges if you have some

Ians spicy cauliflower and almond soup with garlic croutons
Large cauliflower 50p
1/2 packet flaked almonds £1
1ltr Homemade stock
2 tbsp homemade harissa paste 10p
Cumin cinnamon coriander
Salt pepper
4 slices bread 15p
2 tbsp olive oil 20p
Wild garlic                                                                    Serves 4 Total £1.95
Break up cauliflower in small pieces. Heat most of the oil in a large pan and stir in harissa and spices for a few minutes.then add cauliflower toss around to coat it in spices then add almonds stock and bring to the boil. Simmer
about 15-20 mins. Blend to a smooth consistency and check seasoning

Dice bread chop wild garlic toss about in remaining olive oil and heat on a baking tray for 5-10 mins

Linguine with bacon and wild garlic pesto 
Linguine 50p
Homemade pesto
leftover pinenuts
olive and sunflower oil
Salt lemon juice
Wild garlic (or any herbs or spinach just add garlic too) 20p
Cooking bacon 20p
Wild garlic grows like weeds at this time of year in my garden.
I freeze lots too                                    Serves 4 Total 90p

Tomato pepper onion Tarte Tatin 
Box small tomatoes 60p
1 red pepper 20p
1 onion 10p
Half pack puff pastry 50p
Breadcrumbs 2 slices bread 5p
Olive oil  10p                                         Serves 3 with salad Total £1.55
Saute onion and pepper in a frying pan you can put in the oven. Sprinkle 2tsp sugar stir. Remove from heat .Cut tomatoes in half and place cut side down in pan try to space evenly. Sprinkle in breadcrumbs. Roll out pastry and lay over everything in pan tuck down the sides. Put in oven approx 25 mins or when pastry nice and golden brown. WITH THE GREATEST OF CARE as handle is very hot remove from oven an tip out pastry side down on a cooling rack. Scatter with basil or oregano if you have. Serve hot or cold

Thai chicken curry and rice
4 chicken breasts £1.99
Green curry paste 10p
Coconut cream 30p
Peppers spring onions carrots courgettes £1.35
Rice 25p                                                                  Serves 3/4 Total £3.99

Meat balls in tomato sauce 
Beef mince £1.65
Breadcrumbs 5p
Chilli flakes tomato paste paprika
Diced onion 10p
Tin tomatoes 35p
Olive oil 10p
Wild garlic                                  
Potato onion rosemary tortilla
5 eggs 82p
1 potato 10p
Onion 10p
Beetroot blue cheese and walnut
Beetroot 50p
Blue cheese £1
Walnuts 50p                                                                 Serves 4 Total £5.27
Make tomato sauce and save some for pizza topping. Make meatballs by combining mince onions breadcrumbs tomato paste paprika chillis seasoning. Form into walnut size balls and fry.
Make tortilla by sauteing finely sliced potates and onions in olive oil until tender. Add beaten and seasoned eggs to frying pan. Cook on medium heat until mostly set. Turn onto a plate and put back in pan uncooked side down for further 5 mins
Mix beetroot crumbled blue cheese and walnuts dress and season

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Valentines pancakes and cake

Week 5
Spring and love in the air, it was Pancake Day and 
Valentines Day all in one week, and  I managed to get 
everything I needed for £50.62!! so I didn't manage to 
save my overspend from previous weeks, but it did 
mean we had enough ingredients to make carrot cake 
on Sunday

Valentines Day is Calvin and my anniversary so I 
planned a three course meal. 
It cost £11.09 

Smoked Salmon Mousse 
Blend Yoghurt cream cheese 40p with smoked salmon 
trimmings 98p season with lime juice and pepper
Homemade oatcakes 20p

Moule et frite
Saute an onion 5p wild garlic free toss in 1 kilo mussels £4.50 
and half a can cider 50p
Hand make chips 50p

Flour 5p Dark Sainsburys Basic chocolate 2 bars 66p 
Sugar 30p Cocoa 5p 5 eggs 60p 
cooking butter 25p

Berry Ice Cream 
Condensed milk 50p Elmlea light double cream 85p 
Cup of custard 20p Frozen berries 50p

Half term this week and I have a hungry teenager at home. Dexter loves sushi so we are off to Win Yip for Nori £1.34!! and pickled ginger. 

Next weeks menu

MONDAY Pork chorizo and spinach paella
TUESDAY My brother Ian's Spiced Cauliflower soup with 
almond and harissa
WEDNESDAY Chicken and leek pie
THURSDAY Pasta with Wild Garlic pesto
FRIDAY Thai chicken curry
SATURDAY Tortilla beetroot walnut and blue cheese salad
SUNDAY Roast beef/lamb

Packed lunches homelunch and breakfasts included in budget


Olive oil sunflower oil dishwasher tablets shampoo Lemon squash 
crackers cereal coffee sushi nori pickled ginger bacon cheese 
fruit bread crumpet oats butterbeans eggs sugar lemons 
flaked almonds chorizo cauliflower puff pastry pasta crab sticks 
vegetables walnuts natural yoghurt butter x2 milk roast 
Est £63

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Week Four Its not all lentils

Last weeks shopping cost £58 but as you can see below 
I got a lot for my money. We ate really well but next week
will be a challenge as I have overspent each week so have £32 to spend.
My mother Wendy Moorhouse Johns came to stay from Wednesday to Saturday, she is vegetarian and 
Ellen came to eat on Wednesday. 
Made parsley pesto with remaining parsley and pinenuts from last week. 
Made more Labnah its so easy. Just tip fat free yoghurt into a muslin cloth and leave to drain for a few hours. I save the liquid for stock!
I made cream cheese spinach feta pie with some, smoked salmon and cream cheese beigels and mini lemon cheesecakes. 
Made flapjack for lunch and snacks. 

The trifle went down a treat, made Victoria sponge for it. Saved half the custard for crumble on Sunday.
Picked Wild Garlic from garden and Rhubarb from the allotment
Got a huge jar of capers from 99p shop and Big bottle soy sauce from chinese supermarket on Rye Lane rest of the food was from Lidl and Sainsburys

Including Valentine Meal and Chinese New Year

Stir fry noodles vegetables and lamb

Chicken and wild garlic and leek pie with puff pastry

Spaghetti al tonno

Smoked salmon mousse
Moule et frite
Chocolate brownies with berry ice cream

Jacket potatoes with chilli (saved half of last weeks)

Bacon egg beans 
Pasta bake
Thai chicken curry

Wild garlic and leek soup
Roast Pork

Noodles Leeks Big potatoes Onions Peppers Cucumber Celery Carrots Broc Fruit Cheese Pasta x 2 Tinned toms Yoghurt Rice Flour Bread Flour Beigels Ham Cream Chicken Smoked Salmon Mussels Chips Eggs 
Butter x 2 Puff Pastry Bacon Beand Black Pudding Milk Cereal Muesli 
Washing up liquid Dark Chocolate Condensed milk Bread Squash 
Sausages Garlic  Peppers Tomatoes

So I'm going have work to track down some real bargains at Lewisham market and Lidl  

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Week Three menu and shopping list

Thanks to my brother Ian for his delicious Harira soup recipe last week. It called for harissa paste so I made some approx 20p and some Ottolenghi quick pickled lemons for the cous cous salad.

The homemade cream cheese was lovely and we made a lemon cheese cake with it, just beat in some lemon curd and put on a crushed biscuit base. 

Also made pesto with parsley and leftover pinenuts from week before

Thai green curry

MONDAY Stirfry noodles with veg and pork (leftover from last night
TUESDAY Harira soup and Lorraine Pascal's breadsticks
WEDNESDAY Ottelenghi's Herb pie
THURSDAY Barley and Feta Rissoto Trifle
FRIDAY Chilli con Carne with rice
SATURDAY Pasta with tuna and homemade parsley pesto
SUNDAY Roast lamb Rhubarb crumble

Noodles soy sauce peppers chillis beannsprouts lots of natural yoghurt feta ricotta spring onions cheese eggs thyme tinned toms x4 mince meat kidney beans shoulder of lamb fruit bread beigels ham milk biscuits butter x 2 caraway seeds tinned custard frozen berries cream coffee 
EST £62
Ian's Harira soup and beigel croutons

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Ian's Harirra soup recipe

Soak one cup of chick peas overnight, chop up one or two onions and peel and mince three cloves of garlic, add a swirl or two of olive oil to a large pan, add the onions and gently fry for about 4 or 5 mins, add the minced garlic and stir for a min or two, add two chopped up celery stalks and add four or five diced carrots, twist it all up and put the lid on the pan for about 5 mins or so, then add the spice, one and a half teaspoons of turmeric, one of all spice, another or a half teaspoon of chilli flakes, one of cumin, another of ground coriander,half a teaspoon ginger, small pinch of saffron, half teaspoon of cinnamon and one of smoked paprika, if you have harissa paste a teaspoon of that, then add a litre of vegetable stock, bring to the boil while you are washing 125g of red lentils add these and the pre soaked chick peas, a tin of chopped tomatoes a glob or two of tomato paste sea salt and freshly ground pepper and simmer for one hour, add a half cup of fresh chopped coriander and a spoonful of honey, simmer for about 10 mins add water or reduce if needed the longer it simmers the better it gets, serve with a slice of lemon and garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves


30 years ago my brother Ian and I travelled to Morocco with £50 to last us two weeks. We hitched rides, travelled on local buses, stayed in back street hotels, met amazing people and feasted on street food that tasted sublime. It was a holiday of a lifetime. Ian's harirra soup and my couscous salad are inspired by our memories.

Kidney and mushroom pate sandwiches Banana bread apple lunch
Chicken curry mango salad rice
Egg mayonaise sandwich flapjack fruit
Harirra soup flatbread Apple samosas
Labnah cheese in flatbread apple samosa
Sausages couscous
Cous cous salad fruit flapjack
Cauliflower cheese
Hoummous in pitta flapjack
Lemon cheesecake Homemade alcoholic ginger beer
Bacon eggs beans mushrooms
Fishfingers in pitta salad
Scillian meatballs with spaghetti
Pain au chocolat
Toasted cheese sandwich
Apple and caraway Roast Knuckle Pork Mahed potatoes brocolli

Pork mince eggs bread butter x2 Big natural yoghurt Fruit yoghurt Syrup Sugar Weetabix Lemon Squash Coffee Milk Chickpeas Pitta Filo pastry Sunflower oil Olive oil cheese  Pickle Tomato Ketchup Cumin Peppers Courgettes Tomatoes Greens salad Tinned toms x3 couscous Olives Potatoes Peanut Butter Beigels Beans Bacon Toothpaste Garlic Digestives Lemons Carrots Ginger Fizzy table water
Estimated cost £64

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Week one how it went

As the first week comes to an end we are well fed and pleased with the results. I had to spend an extra £3.45 on milk yoghurt and Lemon squash so my total spend was £55. We were very pleased with the pizza, fatayers and banana bread. Next week I will be shopping at Dulwich Farmers Market Lidl and Sainsburys plus the lovely Turkish Shop on Forest Hill Road.
Feta chorizo and pesto Pizza
Butternut Squash and yoghurt spread toasted seeds and skin crisps
Chorizo and pork paella

Vegetable stock cubes

Squash feta and pinenut Fatayers
Tomato pepper and onion salad

Monday, 21 January 2013

Getting the shopping


My shop is closed on Mondays so this is my day for doing all the household chores. Get out my shopping trolley and walk to Peckham. As I was on foot I stopped off in Asda, list in had i am thrilled with the savings I make on my estimated prices. Always on the lookout for reduced goods i go offlist and get some sausages as well. We only buy decent sausages with a high meat content these have 90% so not to bad. I road test their economy baked beans so we'll see what we think on Saturday. Bill comes in at £28.05! Trundle along Rye Lane which has many great African Caribbean and Indian food stores. Not many veg stalls today but picked up a huge white cabbage and broccoli for £1 and a massive sack of onions for £1 so they will keep us going for a month! I really like the fruit and veg in Lidl and know they have good chorizo pinenuts etc. Spend £20.47 

TOTAL £51.52
But I actually got extra things beigels dried fruit sausages so could have come in under budget!
From each evening meal I wiil set aside some for my packed lunch and freeze extra soup
Am also going to make pizza bases and flat bread for the freezer

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Feeding the family on £50

SUNDAY 20TH 2013
As a cash strapped family of four (now sometimes three as daughter has gone to university) we are always looking for good cheap ways to eat. I am attempting to live on £50 per week food and household goods. 
Each week I will draw up a menu and shopping list. I shop at various supermarkets and sometimes markets.
I run a shop so I am time poor as well, but always cook from scratch. We are lucky enough to have an allotment though not that successful so although self sufficient in some herbs I still have to buy fruit and vegetables.
I will also fess up when I have to buy extras. Breakfast is muesli toast cereal or porridge except weekend when we have FEB on Saturday and Muffins/Pancakes on Sunday and packed lunch for me and my husband

WEEK ONE This is what I have planned let's see if I can bring it in on budget. I will shop at Lidl this week
Pork chorizo spinach paella adapted from the Moro Cookbook 
I dont need to buy pork as we had Roast on Sunday Stock made from veg peelings

Lentil soup and garlic bread

Chorizo Potatos from Nigel Slater using rest of Mondays chorizo with salad

Fatayars stuffed with squash feta and pinenuts from the Moro Cookbook

Homemade burgers and coleslaw

Bacon egg beans toms
Cheese toasties
Pasta al tonno

Banana pancakes 
Roast chicken with roast potatos veg and gravy
Fruit crumble and icecream

Argh my estimate for this and lunch ingredients fruit etc comes in at £64 but I always overestimate a bit then search out bargain prices. If I had more time I would scour for better deals but not this week. I luckily don't need any household goods this week

Rice {paella type if poss}   Minced beef   Butter   Pasta   Tinned tomato   Red Lentils 
Chorizo   Fresh Chillies   Garlic Bread   Fruit £4   Snack £2  Bread   Sandwich fillings £2
Spinach   Popping corn  Lemon Squash   Muesli   Yoghurt fruit   Yoghurt natural
Onions   Whole Chicken   Eggs Bacon   Beans  Coffee Tea  Milk  
Peppers red and green   Stock cubes   Potatoes 3 big ones inc   Cheese £3 see what I can get
Bread flour   yeast   Butternut Squash   Pinenuts   Feta
Tomatoes   Cucumber  Carrots  Cabbage